SPECIAL OLYMPICS – SPORT, HEALTH, & FITNESS
The Croquet foundation of America (CFA) and the Special Olympics Organization of Palm Beach County have found that “Golf Croquet” – an alternating, single shot game – is an ideal game to achieve the goals of the Special Olympics (SO). The CFA is in its second year as sponsor of the SO Palm Beach County Croquet Club. SO athletes and their coaches, along with volunteers from the National Croquet Center meet twice a month during the season for competitive games. It is a joyous occasion for all!
Athletes play on regulation-sized half-courts. The play is highly competitive with some exciting, fantastic shots being made by all. Special funding from five benefactors and the Special Olympics organization of Palm Beach County have made it possible for every athlete and coach to have Special Olympics shirts and to attend an end-of-season luncheon celebrating the successes of the players.
Another highly successful Golf Croquet program is established at Watch Hill, Rhode Island. “In its second year at the Ocean House Hotel in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, the competition was fierce as 13 teams from North Kingstown, Rhode Island, joined the all-day games on the hotel’s pristine ocean-side croquet lawn, divided into four miniature courts. The weather was perfect on September 10, and sheer numbers created a fitting spectacle: 33 teams plus coaches and officials on the lawn, and scores of family members and friends of the competitors in the viewing gallery. Add to that a separate competition for 12 ‘Unity Sports’ teams who originated the Connecticut concept of ‘unified team croquet,’ and the spectacle approaches Olympic proportions. – Contributed by Croquet World Online Magazine.
“Everybody deserves a chance at a happy and purposeful life. Yet people with intellectual disabilities face doubt, barriers, and low expectations. For many, Special Olympics are the only place where they find an opportunity to participate in their communities, develop belief in themselves, and feel like champions.” – Quoted from the Special Olympics organization.
“Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” – Motto of the Connecticut Special Olympics
SENIOR SPORT, HEALTH, & FITNESS
Florida Senior Games
The Croquet Foundation of America and the State of Florida, through the Florida Sports Foundation, have included croquet as an “official sport.” The CFA directs the State’s annual Florida Senior Games, playing “Golf Croquet” — an alternating, single shot game — at various venues throughout the State. For the first two years, the games were played at the Estero Community Center in Estero, Florida. The next two years’ games will be played in Clearwater, Florida.
Delray Beach Senior Games
The City of Delray Beach held its local Senior Games once again at the national Croquet Center on March 6th, 2018. Players battled it out for the prizes on a simply beautiful day.
Annual National Senior Health & Fitness Day
The National Croquet Club and the Croquet Foundation of America celebrated the Annual National Senior Health & Fitness Day. Always held on the last Wednesday in May, National Senior Health & Fitness day is the nation’s largest annual health promotion event for older adults. As part of the work of the National Senior Games Association, thousands of older adults participate in activities at more than 1,000 locations throughout the United States.
FAMILY SPORT, HEALTH, & FITNESS
Age does not dictate skill levels, and the entire family can play wicket sports together. The CFA encourages participation by entire families, and the resident National Croquet Club at the National Croquet Center offers family memberships at special discounted rates.
NINE WICKET CROQUET
Nine wicket, or “back yard” croquet, as it is known by many people, is estimated to be played regularly by several million people in America. We seek to identify these players and assist them in finding local clubs, education, and skills improvement as they move to tournament play.
Golf croquet is a game that beginners of all ages can learn to play easily and quickly. This is the basic form of croquet that is particularly suited for the Special Olympics, exhibition games, and children’s sports. It also can be a highly sophisticated and competitive game played by experts around the world.
The CFA and the USCA are working with colleges and universities to add Croquet as a collegiate sport and to organize formal croquet clubs. Part of this activity includes building and maintaining court facilities. Clubs are already in place and members are playing at:
- Bard College Croquet Club – Annandale on Hudson, NY
- Case Western Reserve University – Cleveland, OH
- College of William & Mary – Williamsburg, VA
- Davidson College Croquet Club – Davidson, NC
- Harvard College – Cambridge, MA
- Haverford College – Haverford, PA
- Oklahoma Wesleyan University – Bartlesville, OK
- St. Johns College – Annapolis, MD
- State University of NY at New Paltz – New Paltz, NY
- Stetson University – Deland, FL
- United States Naval Academy – Royal Oak, MD
The CFA is seeking additional funding for staff and expenses to expand this program.
CLUB AND COMMUNITY PROGRAM
Golf and Country Clubs and residence communities, both public and private, are increasingly incorporating Croquet into their ongoing programs, many with purpose-built croquet lawns on their own sites, and others adapting tennis or golf turf for croquet events. The CFA actively seeks out and encourages owners and managers to incorporate croquet for the benefit of their members, and also to help financially with club operations, as older individuals, in particular, are looking for interesting, fun and challenging activities after tennis, golf and other physically demanding sports become too difficult.
Corporate sponsorship is all about connecting with people at the state, regional, and national levels. Sponsorship through direct grants, sponsoring tournaments, and partnering with local clubs, provides the sponsor with the following:
- Direct link to an influential and loyal audience of intelligent and financially comfortable dedicated players and guests.
- Opportunity to actively demonstrate the corporation’s commitment to croquet, thus helping to win the loyalty and support of your brand by players, spouses and visitors.
- A cost-effective way to showcase your corporate brand and products
- Inexpensive method of advertising.
- Contact with thousands of people interested in croquet, sport, health and fitness. The National Croquet Center hosts over 14,000 visitors per year.
The CFA is actively seeking partners to help finance the programs listed above. Sponsor benefits can include banner/logo placement on websites, in publicity media, onsite at events, and by reference in press releases and print media. Sponsorships would normally include at least one invitational event planned with the sponsor, held either at a major croquet facility in the area or on another lawn venue of the sponsor’s choosing. We will work actively with each sponsor to tailor the perfect package for the sponsor’s needs.
We recognize with gratitude the members of the military who have served our country. As part of giving back, we are developing programs, subject to funding, that will help returning veterans re-establish themselves in civilian life by giving them training and job opportunities at the National Croquet Center in the areas of hospitality, sales and non-profit administration.
ALZHEIMER’S SPORT, HEALTH, & FITNESS
“The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading, global voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care and support, and the largest private, nonprofit funder of Alzheimer’s research.” The CFA participates in the International Jiminy Wickets Program which is designed to support families challenged by having a family member who is stricken with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Even with dementia, patients and their families often get great enjoyment from playing, as croquet provides family members with a fun activity that can be done together. The CFA makes its facilities available to the Alzheimer’s Association for organized games with assistance from volunteers, and families with Alzheimer’s patients are encouraged to become members of the resident club and to use the facilities at the National Croquet Center to improve the quality of life for their stricken family member.
“Here’s another reason to get into shape: physical activity may reduce the risk of dementia-related death, according to a new study. Researchers assessed the health of more than 45,000 men and nearly 15,000 women, ages 20 to 88 years, in the United States, and grouped them into one of three fitness categories — low, middle or high. After an average follow-up of 17 years, about 4,050 participants died. Of those deaths, 164 were attributed to dementia (72 had vascular dementia and 92 had Alzheimer’s disease). Of those 164 deaths, 123 of the people were in the low-fitness group, 23 were in the middle-fitness group, and 18 were in the high-fitness group.” – Healthday News